Waterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour (ACT) will celebrate twenty-five years of sanctioning and managing stock car races in 2010, and the quarter century old sanctioning body will award its race teams with over $100,000.00 in post-season awards. This will mark the first season the various point funds have topped the century mark.

“Our Late Model program has grown significantly over the past decade. ACT has tried to maintain the balance between keeping this division cost-effective, whether it is weekly racing or Tour racing. Most of our Tour competitors, and those weekly racers that have supported the ACT Late Model rules formula, are primarily focused on winning championships, which is the way it should be. It is still great that we can reward the teams with some financial awards at the end of a long season of racing,” said Darla Hartt, Vice President of the American Canadian Tour.

Both the US and the Castrol Tours will pay the Champions a bonus of $10,000 this season. Total awards will be over $80,000 for the two touring series. The “King of the Road” will receive $5,000, and there will be over $20,000 in point fund money awarded to the Thunder Road competitors.

Teams looking to become the Rookie of the Year in ACT US racing will receive an added bonus in their individual battle for the title. The Racing Electronics Rookie of the Year will receive a $1,000 bonus. The Ford Blue Oval Challenge Cup for all approved Ford teams will make available an additional point fund of over $10,000, with $5000 going to the Ford Champion among Ford teams.

“This should be one of the most exciting and competitive seasons in recent memory,” said veteran seven-time Champion Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton, VT. Cyr will drive for owner Gary Caron in 2010. “It looks like I picked the right year to return to the Tour. I have always liked a challenge and this year sure looks like it has all the makings of being just that,” concluded Cyr.

The 2010 opening event on the ACT is Sunday, May 2 at Thunder Road in Barre, VT. With over 60 teams expected to try and get an edge toward the 2010 title chase this weekend, the “Nation’s Site of Excitement” should live up to its name. “I know it takes a lot of luck just to get in the feature, but we have been able to have lots of that during the Merchants Bank 150 openings,” said two-time winner Scott Payea. In fact, Payea has to be considered one of the favorites. The Ouellette Plumbing and Heating team has never finished out of the top five in all five of the Merchants Bank events they have entered.

Saturday from nine until noon the Merchants Bank Downtown Car Show takes place in Barre. At noon over 100 race cars will drive with a police escort the 2 and ½ miles from the downtown up Quarry Hill into Thunder Road. Admission Saturday is free. Sunday the Merchants Bank Class Day presentation is scheduled for 1:00 and post time is 1:30 for ACT qualifying for the Merchants Bank 150. Admission Sunday is just $18 for Adults and kids 6-12 are just $5.00. A family pass for two adults and two kids is just $35.00.